Getting mauled in the name of security is only for the non-muslims, whites, and elderly. In other words, the little people.
Cabinet secretaries, top congressional leaders and an exclusive group of senior U.S. officials are exempt from toughened new airport screening procedures when they fly commercially with government-approved federal security details.
Aviation security officials would not name those who can skip the controversial screening, but other officials said those VIPs range from top officials like Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and FBI Director Robert Mueller to congressional leaders like incoming House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, who avoided security before a recent flight from Washington’s Reagan National Airport.
The heightened new security procedures by the Transportation Security Administration, which involve either a scan by a full-body detector or an intimate personal pat-down, have spurred passenger outrage in the lead-up to the Thanksgiving holiday airport crush.
On Friday, the TSA exempted pilots from the new procedures; flight attendants received the same privilege on Tuesday, TSA spokesman Nicholas Kimball confirmed. Both groups must show photo ID and go through metal detectors. If that sets off an alarm, they may still get a pat-down in some cases, he said. The rules apply to pilots and flight attendants in uniform when they’re traveling.
While passengers have no choice but to submit to either the detector or what some complain is an intrusive pat-down, some senior government officials can opt out if they fly accompanied by government security guards approved by the TSA.
“Government officials traveling with federal law enforcement security details are screened at airports under a specialized screening protocol, which includes identity verification,” Kimball said. This allows the officials to skip the airport security checkpoints.
The TSA would not explain why it makes these exceptions. But many of the exempted government officials have gone through several levels of security clearances, including FBI background checks. Armed security details eliminate the need for an additional layer of security at airports.
I don’t give a shit about their “clearances”. I had a Top Secret/SCI clearance as an Army Intelligence Analyst, and I still had to go through security proceedures. They pulled me aside once for an additional “search” even though I was on assignment orders and was wearing a jacket with all kinds of Army patches on it, easily identifying msyself as a U.S. Soldier.
Some members of Barack Obama’s Cabinet, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, travel almost exclusively on government or military planes.
Top officials like Geithner, Mueller and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid travel with security details and skip airport checkpoints, aides said. The second-ranking Senate Democrat, Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois, and the House Democratic whip, Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, also have security, but they typically undergo regular screening with other passengers, aides said.
You’ll notice that most of them have taxpayer-funded government charter planes with their own taxpayer-funded security detail.
Lots of former and current military and DOD personnel have security clearances but they get scrutinized anyway.
Some are more equal than others, right Pistole?